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Columns

  • Bus tour of Sunset Beach brings new parking rules

    Bumping along on a bus on unpaved roads with town council isn’t anyone’s idea of a thrill ride. At least not mine.

    And if it were thrilling, it probably wouldn’t be allowed, because amusement rides aren’t part of the Sunset Beach island landscape.

    But council wanted to take a closer look at the parking sites it was about to prohibit. Hence, as part of a specially called meeting with the council-appointed beach parking committee on the morning of Feb. 18, members boarded a Sea Trail shuttle bus and headed for the island.

  • Donate prom dresses and accessories to help local girls in need

    The blue one was special because it made me feel elegant.

    The yellow one with rhinestones had a full skirt and made me feel like a princess.

    I initially didn’t want to try on the pink one because it didn’t have enough sparkle, but once my mom convinced me to, I never wanted to take it off.

    Even though I haven’t worn any of my prom or formal dresses for about a decade, I will never forget the feeling when I first put them on or how they looked in the pictures or the memories made while wearing them.

  • Earthquake? Sonic boom? Seneca guns? Nope, just Smith Avenue

    My office is violently shaking while I write this. 

    If I weren’t so accustomed to it, I may worry it were an earthquake. 

    If I weren’t so used to it, I may wonder if some jet just left a sonic boom in its wake.

    If I weren’t so familiar with my monitor shaking while I read and write, I might be more interested in trying to find out exactly what the Seneca guns are and why they fire so frequently in Brunswick County.

  • Sorry, Charlie. Your owner’s got to do this one on her own

    N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue thinks you’re dumb.

    Well, maybe that’s a little extreme. Let’s put it this way: Perdue thinks her dog Charlie is smarter than you.

    I’m guessing by now I’ve not only gotten your attention, but probably ticked you off a little bit, so let me explain.

    On our fair governor’s website, there’s a new tool—more like a game, really, in which you, along with Perdue’s best canine friend Charlie, can do what Perdue and her Democratic henchmen cannot—balance the state budget.

  • 'Showtime at the Apollo' delivers an inspiring show

     

    ‘Showtime at the Apollo’ was a superb production

    Inspirational. Creative. Talented.

    I could go on and on about the students who participated in last weekend’s performances of “Showtime at the Apollo” at West Brunswick High School. I was simply blown away  Saturday by the range of talent and depth of insight and energy put into the show.

  • When others destroy our sense of personal safety, what to do?

    What defines safety for you? Is it cuddling up closely to the person you love? Is it snuggling down in your own bed at home? Is it going back to your childhood house, enjoying breakfast talks with mom and dad?

    Many of us have definitions of the things that make us feel safe. Many of those are closely associated with our homes.

  • Health board brings 'humane' shelter to screeching halt

    All he had to do was mention PETA.

    So that’s what Brunswick County health board member Chip Carroll did in opposing having a humane element brought into management of the Brunswick County Animal Shelter.

    Subsequently, at the board’s Feb. 14 meeting, he and seven other members of the board succeeded in rejecting efforts of Rescue Animals Community Effort (RACE), a group of animal advocates who have been working with Brunswick County Health Director Don Yousey to take over management of the shelter.

  • Even ‘Robert’ has to follow the law, not just own rules

    As a government reporter, I sit through a lot of meetings. I mean, a lot of meetings. So many so that sometimes I would rather bang my head against the wall than sit through another meeting, but alas, I continue.

    Hyperbole aside, some meetings are more painful than others—not physically painful, but emotionally painful—frustrating, if you will.

    I have made a steadfast commitment to being a proponent of freedom of information. I consider myself a student of the North Carolina Open Meetings and Public Records laws.

  • Missing on spring break

    I remember hearing the news in the spring of 2009 that a young spring breaker had disappeared in Myrtle Beach, S.C. It hit all too close to home.

    The young woman was on spring break from Rochester, N.Y., with several friends. Her parents did not know she was in Myrtle Beach. As a teenager, I too made excursions to Myrtle Beach without proper parental knowledge. 

    Initially I thought the teen was simply dodging phone calls and would resurface later to face her punishment. But that wasn’t the case.

  • Parking rules raising Sunset Beach sand

    Attention non-Sunset Beach residents, non-island renters and other no-counts.

    Do you have (plenty of) parking money tucked in your beach bucket before you venture across the new $44 million Mannon C. Gore high-rise bridge this summer?

    You just might need it, assuming you can even find an available, legal parking space on the island.

    Depending on what Sunset Beach Town Council ultimately decides, recommended rules presented Monday night by a town-appointed parking committee don’t mince words.